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Candidates for state offices on ballot Tuesday

HARRISBURG - The two parties in Pennsylvania’s state House and its congressional delegation are nearly evenly divided, and that won’t change once results are in from next week’s primary election.

But come November, the candidates the parties will select April 23 for hundreds of legislative seats could alter what has been years of policy paralysis in Harrisburg and the similar partisan deadlock in Congress.

The state’s voters will also cast primary ballots for this year’s marquee contests for president and U.S. Senate. Democratic incumbents Joe Biden and Bob Casey and Republican challengers Donald Trump and Dave McCormick are shoo-ins to appear on the fall ballot.

Both parties will pick candidates for state attorney general, which was in Republican hands before Democrats went on a winning streak starting in 2012.

In the two other statewide “row office” contests, Republicans Stacy Garrity, the treasurer, and Tim DeFoor, the auditor general, will find out which Democrats will try to unseat them in the fall.

General Assembly

It took months and several special elections before Democrats were able to nail down their return to majority control of the state House last year, elevating one of their own to speaker in a chamber where the partisan breakdown is now 102-100. One seat, in a Poconos district where a Republican resigned in February, is vacant and will be filled by special election on primary day.

With the entire chamber on the ballot this year, Republicans would love to flip it back, denying Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro legislative leverage in policy and budget battles.

In the state Senate, where Republicans hold a 28-22 majority, Democrats would need to flip at least three seats in order for Democratic Lt. Gov. Austin Davis’ tie-breaking vote to give them control.

Among the 25 Senate seats up this year, nearly half the total, or 12 incumbent senators, face no opponents this year.


Lawmakers in nearly half of the 203 House seats, and slightly more Democrats than Republicans, have no primary or General Election opponents this year and can plan on serving another term starting in January.

There aren’t many House vacancies this cycle: just nine seats held by Republicans and four by Democrats. Retiring members include Berks County Rep. Mark Rozzi, who spent a brief but notable time as House speaker early last year before fellow Democrats could muster the votes to elect their first choice to lead the chamber, Speaker Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia.

Reps. Ryan Mackenzie, of Lehigh County, and Rob Mercuri, of Allegheny, are relinquishing House seats to run in Republican primaries for Democratic-held congressional seats. Hedging their bets are Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Erie, and Rep. Jared Solomon, of Philadelphia, seeking reelection in the state House and running in Democratic primaries for state treasurer and state attorney general, respectively.

Congressional Delegation

All 17 of Pennsylvania’s incumbent members of the U.S. House of Representatives are running for another term, each with at least one opponent in the primary or fall elections. Court-ordered redistricting after the 2020 Census produced a 9-8 Democratic edge, and when the incumbents ran for reelection two years ago, all 17 were reelected.

There is a three-way GOP primary for the nomination to take on Lehigh Valley Democratic U.S. Rep. Susan Wild in the fall. Wild’s previous two wins were by single-digit margins. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from the Scranton area who also has been repeatedly targeted in recent years, has no primary opponent, but a Republican looks to challenge him in November.

Statewide Row Offices

After Shapiro’s election as governor two years ago created a vacancy in his former job as state attorney general, he nominated his protégé, Michelle Henry, to serve through the end of this year. She is not seeking to stay in the job.

Five Democrats are running for the nomination: Philadelphia attorney Keir Bradford-Grey, former auditor general and state Rep. Eugene DePasquale, of Allegheny County, former prosecutor and Bucks County solicitor Joe Khan, Philadelphia state Rep. Jared Solomon and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.

Two Republicans are running: York County District Attorney Dave Sunday and state Rep. Craig Williams, of Delaware County. Sunday received his party’s endorsement, while Williams has been helping lead House Republicans’ efforts to remove from office progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, a Democrat.

For auditor general, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, of Philadelphia, and Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley are the Democrats seeking to run against DeFoor in November. Kenyatta finished third in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary in 2022 won by John Fetterman.

Garrity, the state treasurer, has no opposition in the GOP primary. Democratic voters will choose between Bizzarro and Erin McClelland, an addiction recovery and human services professional from Allegheny County.

FILE - Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives attend a session at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, on June 29, 2023. Pennsylvania's April 23 primary election will select candidates for the Legislature, statewide “row offices” and 17 Congressional seats. AP PHOTO/MATT ROURKE, FILE
FILE - Pennsylvania House Speaker Rep. Joanna McClinton, a Philadelphia Democrat, presides over a Pennsylvania House of Representatives session on April 10, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pa. Democrats are hoping to retain their narrow majority control over the chamber in this year's legislative elections. (AP Photo/Mark Pynes, File)
FILE - Pennsylvania House of Representatives Minority Leader Bryan Cutler, right, a Lancaster County Republican, looks on during a House session, April 10, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pa. Cutler faces vigorous opposition from a fellow Republican in the April 23 primary. (AP Photo/Mark Pynes, File)
FILE - Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity, who is running for reelection in the April 23 Primary, poses in front of the state vault at the Treasury Building, April 10, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pa. Garrity has no primary opponent on April 23, but two Democrats are running for the nomination to take her on in the fall.. (AP Photo/Mark Pynes, File)
FILE - Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, an Erie County Democrat, poses for a photograph in his office at the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Bizzarro is on the April 23 primary election ballot, seeking the nomination for state treasurer. (AP Photo/Mark Pynes, File)